Magazine article Newsweek

The Rap-Ification of Brian Williams

Magazine article Newsweek

The Rap-Ification of Brian Williams

Article excerpt

Byline: Ben Teitelbaum

Jimmy Fallon's supercut is the best thing ever.

One, two, three, and to the four. Snoop Doggy Dogg and ... Brian Williams is at the door?

Has the veteran newsman traded the anchor desk for the recording booth? Several videos bouncing around the Internet last week made it seem like Williams was bringing his trademark gravitas to the hip-hop game, but it was actually just the latest viral success from Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.

Staffer John MacDonald cuts and rearranges Williams's reportage into old-school hip-hop jams. When MacDonald first showed Fallon his creative work, the host immediately thought: Oh, my God, this is hilarious. Before you could finish your gin and juice, rapping Williams was everywhere. They've produced three mashups so far: "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang" by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, "Regulate" by Warren G, and "Straight Outta Compton" by N.W.A. The first video was such a hit that Fallon's team released the other two over the next two nights, rather than keep its audience waiting, Fallon said.

Even the original artists are praising Williams's turn on the mic. "It was funny as hell" and "kinda dope," says N.W.A.'s Ice Cube, who found out about the supercut from Twitter. A flattered Warren G says it was "pretty cool just to see a cool cat like Brian Williams do a classic record produced by me." He says Williams "nailed it" and that the anchor should "think about a rap career."

Williams may not be coming out with his own Big Willie Style album, but he's no stranger to comedy and has no qualms poking fun at himself. …

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